Perhaps Trump is not sane.
Perhaps there is no method here at all. Perhaps Trump thinks that he is likely to win.
But perhaps there is a method here. And perhaps Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Mike Pence and many others will rue their decision to come crawling back to Trump yesterday.
Perhaps Trump accepts that his chances of becoming president are now down to something between 2% (Sam Wang) and 20% (Nate Silver). And perhaps Trump is looking forward to what life is going to be like after November 8. What does he want to do? It looks like he wants to become boss of the Republican Party. That means that he has to remove from influence others who might challenge him for the role of boss of the Republican Party--who might be strong enough to lead an effort to marginalize him after November 8.
Who are those people who might do so? Not any of the 16 dwarfs--he beat them all, remember? The people who might be able to edge Trump out of the spotlight are three. They are:
- Paul Ryan
- Mike Pence
- Mitch McConnell
If there is method to this madness, look for Trump to spend the next month trying to destroy the reputations and influence of those three. I think he has already started:
Disloyal R's are far more difficult than Crooked Hillary. They come at you from all sides. They don’t know how to win - I will teach them!...
It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to.
Our very weak and ineffective leader, Paul Ryan, had a bad conference call where his members went wild at his disloyalty.
Despite winning the second debate in a landslide (every poll), it is hard to do well when Paul Ryan and others give zero support!...
Paul Ryan should spend more time on balancing the budget, jobs and illegal immigration and not waste his time on fighting Republican nominee...
In the past week, from Trump's personal tweets, one "Crooked Hillary", one "'Republican leadership'", one "GOP traitors!", three slams on Paul Ryan, one slam on John McCain.
My guess? Look for a two-front war from Trump over the next month--with more energy directed against those who could be obstacles to those who might be able to block his desired post-November 8 career within the Republican Party than against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Jonathan Swan: Trump campaign CEO wanted to destroy Ryan:
Steve Bannon... chairman of... Breitbart... CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, gave explicit orders to his staff to destroy Speaker Paul Ryan... would often say “Paul Ryan is the enemy”... wrote... that the “long game” for his news site was for Ryan to be “gone” by the spring....
Matt Boyle, suggested to Bannon via email that a story promoting Ryan’s planned overhaul of the mental health system would be a good way to “open a bridge” to Ryan.
Bannon wasn’t keen on the idea.
“I’ve got a cure for mental health issue,” Bannon wrote to Boyle. “Spank your children more.”
“I get that,” responded Boyle, “but this is a place where we can open a bridge to Paul Ryan --- we're playing the very long long long game Steve.”
Replied Bannon: “Long game is him gone by spring.”...
Bannon views Ryan as a leader of an elite globalist cabal determined to sell out America by opening its borders on immigration and trade. “Bannon has Alex Jones-level paranoia about Paul Ryan,” the source said, referring to the right-wing radio host and conspiracy theorist who runs the pro-Trump website Infowars. “He goes on these amazing rants,” the source added of Bannon. “He thinks Paul Ryan is part of a conspiracy with George Soros and Paul Singer, in which elitists want to bring one world government.”...
An influential figure in the conservative movement... [says] there’s nothing unusual about this anger towards Ryan:
Many high-level donors and party activists that were not necessarily early Trump supporters are very disappointed in Speaker Ryan for not fully supporting the party's candidate at this most critical time in our country.
Ryan’s agenda is not in line with the American worker. It’s in line with the Wall Street wing of the permanent political class. But it’s not just Ryan. Every institution in American politics has been exposed as fraudulent and working against the American people. Trump is running against the evil empire. The entire machine stands against him, and Paul Ryan is the face of the evil empire. But so is Hillary Clinton and so are her allies throughout the mainstream media...